Firefighters are warning residents of the dangers of candle fires following a fire near Malpas in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Two North Wales crews from Wrexham and a Cheshire crew from Malpas attended the incident in Threapwood after being alerted to the fire around 1am.
A man and a woman in their 30s, together with two girls aged between four and eight, were trapped on the first floor after a candle set a ground floor room alight and the property became heavily smoke logged.
A neighbour was able to assist all occupiers in escaping from a first floor window via a ladder. All four occupants were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.
Firefighters used four sets of breathing apparatus and two hose reels to tackle the fire.
Tony Jones, from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The occupiers were extremely lucky to escape from this fire, especially as the property had no working smoke alarms – there is no doubt the survival advice given over the telephone saved their lives.
“Candles can easily develop into a fire and every year we see countless incidents where an open flame left unattended can leave a trail of devastation.
“The fire was confined to the room of origin on the ground floor, causing 20 per cent fire damage and 80 per cent heavy heat damage – but the entire property was heavily smoke logged and prevented the occupants from escaping down the stairs.
“Without a smoke alarm this could easily have led to tragedy but luckily they smelt the smoke and were able to escape with the help of neighbours.”
Residents are advised to keep candles are secured in a proper holder, on a stable surface, and away from materials that may catch fire, such as curtains while children and pets should never be left alone with lit candles.
Other advice includes not leaving a lit candle unattended and put them out whenever you leave the room, and completely at night.
Tony added: “Even with these precautions, it’s vital to be prepared should the worst happen. A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to get out, stay out, and call 999.
Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by testing your alarm regularly and by planning and practicing an escape route.”
For a free safe and well visit to your home, please call North Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s free 24 hour hotline on 0800 169 1234 or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk
See full story in the Whitchurch Herald